|(March 25, 2020, 11:55 a.m., text added Mar. 27, 4;00 p.m.) -- As LBREPORT.com reported yesterday (March 24), the Measure A sales tax extension (sought by LB Mayor Garcia and the City Council, campaign funded mainly by LB's police/firefighter unions) that has been continually trailing since Mar. 3, is now in a virtual dead-heat -- 50% to 50%. As of March 24, it was failing passage by just nine votes ut of nearly 100,000 votes cast.
NO 49,644 50.00%
With only roughly 3,600 ballots countywide remaining to be counted, the L.A. County Registrar recorder/County Clerk is planning to certify the final results Friday March 27. That starts a clock ticking with fast deadlines on a request, if any, for a possible recount.
For reasons specific to Long Beach in this election, it's not clear if there will be a request for a recount, and whether or not there's a recount, there's an additional potential outcome in the hands of LB's Mayor and Council who put Measure A on the ballot in the first place.
Below is an unofficial summary overview of general recount procedures.
[Scroll down for further.]
That means if Measure A fails passage in the final tally, some supporters of Mayor Garcia's Measure A campaign committee may step forward to request a recount confident they'll be reimbursed by Garcia's campaign committee or others for daily deposit costs if the recount doesn't change the outcome.
However if Measure A prevails and passes with more votes in the final tally, it's not clear who would request a recount. That person would face immediate deposit costs with an uncertain outcome for refund of those costs. There was no organized competitively funded opposition campaign against Measure A. (LB's Reform Coalition focused on Council candidate elections and it's not clear if it would devote resources to pursuing a recount with one of its candidates (Robert Fox) now in a November runoff.)
The County elections official (jn LA, Dean Logan) can also call for a recount if he has reasonable cause to believe ballots have been miscounted (Elections code section 15610) but that's his decision. under his control, not that a voter(s)
Elections Code section 15610: If no election contest is pending wherein a recount of the ballots in a precinct has been or will be ordered, the elections official may order that the ballots voted in the precinct be publicly recounted if both of the following apply:
The bottom line: if Measure A passes in the final tally, that outcome will likely stick (unless the County elections official has reasonable cause to believe ballots were miscounted.) If Measure A fails passage, its supporters may pursue a recount, but that's not certain either...because LB's electeds have another option they may or may not pursue.
Even with Measure A's revenue, city management has previously indicated taxpayers will face the prospect of future "deficits" (current spending outpacing anticipated revenue.) As a result of COVID-19, large chunks of that anticipated revenue (at least in the short term) may not arrive. Sales tax revenue and hotel room taxes and oil revenue are obviously down, at least for now. At the same time, CA's Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) has sustained losses in its investment portfolio that it may now try to pass along to City Halls. (LB taxpayers would be among the worst hurt as a result of the infamous 2002 O'Neill/Council pension spike.) Although subsequent Councils have changed some previous pension practices, the incumbents have continued to give politically active City employee unions (that helped elect them) generous contractually binding raises.
All of these factors might incline LB's Mayor and Council to put forward a November 2020 ballot measure (coinciding with the high turnout presidential election).
The Mayor/Council would likely frame this as some type of COVID-19 emergency or "recovery" measure, portraying voters' choice in stark terms: if LB voters don't approve a November revenue (tax) measure, the Mayor/Council will make major reductions in city services, (It's not yet clear if the economy would or wouldn't be recovering by November.)
The incumbents would likely argue that with COVID-19, the City faces unprecedented circumstances beyond their control. That's true, but it's also true that LB's incumbents control their current spending practices. The razor thin Measure A outcome -- a virtual tie despite months of City Hall messaging coupled with a Mayor-run six figure campaign against no funded opposition -- arguably sends the message that a sizable number of LB residents don't agree with some ways their City Hall is spending their money.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com